Connect with us
We Met in Virtual Reality
Image Courtesy of Sundance

Culture

We Met In Virtual Reality is an Immersive Glimpse into Digital Communities

Joe Hunting’s uniquely filmed documentary takes a look at multiple people who have found refuge and community within a virtual world.

Sundance 2022: We Met in Virtual Reality Review

As COVID-19 and social distancing have put physical gatherings on hold or strained the ability to maintain relationships, We Met in Virtual Reality showcases an alternative that is setting itself up to become the future of social interaction. Joe Hunting’s documentary provides an overview of the ways in which virtual reality, and specifically a program called VRChat, have allowed people to communicate and be themselves without the need for physical interaction. For the uninitiated to virtual reality and digital spaces, it’s an insightful documentary filled with an entertaining cast.

Hunting’s feature directorial debut makes one crucial decision right out of the gate that helps illustrate the impact that virtual spaces like VRChat provide people: it’s filmed entirely in virtual reality. We never see people beyond their avatars, though they share personal information that helps us understand why they spend the time they do in VR. It’s a level of immersion that benefits We Met in Virtual Reality as it provides us with the same entry point that everyone who jumps into VRChat will be provided.

The limits of the technology could be seen as a barrier, but what is proven time and again with each person followed throughout the film is that nothing is impossible. The ability to create an avatar that best represents your personality, whether it’s something as simple as a man or woman or as weird and off-kilter as a demon or hotdog, allows for introverted people to immediately bring out their inner selves. The worlds they choose to inhabit and create act as another reflection of themselves, and the activities they partake in add another layer of depth and relatability to each character. For many, digital spaces can be a second life, but it can also just be a place to relax from the daily struggles.

We Met in Virtual Reality
Image Courtesy of Sundance

The most fascinating portions of We Met in Virtual Reality are its subjects. An ASL (American Sign Language) teacher hosts classes within VRChat, allowing people to communicate more freely inside and outside virtual reality; a dancer hosts dancing classes while also finding love through the program; and two people who already love each other get married in virtual reality, sharing the moment with a supportive community. Many other moments unfold in virtual reality and they can be as structured or as casual as you want, but Hunting’s film makes it clear that physical distance from people does not mean society will crumble.

As someone who met his wife online and has since moved in together and been married for many years, We Met in Virtual Reality’s premise is always exciting to visit. There’s so much potential for digital worlds to supplement real life and foster stronger relationships than you might have in reality. However, the concept isn’t new. It’s been explored for years and while there is still a stigma with online communication that it’s not a suitable replacement for social interaction, We Met in Virtual Reality is still a case study of a few subjects. There are no statistics and for myself, nothing new to bring to the conversation. 

Instead, Hunting’s film acts as a jumping off point for others to understand the role virtual reality can play in day-to-day life. Now more than ever, it could even save lives as isolation, anxiety, and pressures can fall to the wayside while existing within these worlds. We Met in Virtual Reality’s decision to film in VR helps cement the power of digital playgrounds. While it may not break new ground and offers little to those already familiar with the format, Hunting’s documentary embeds itself with subjects that may push people to find a new way to express themselves and bring a sense of community to those struggling to belong.

The 2022 Sundance Film Festival will be held January 20-30 online and on Satellite Screens across the United States. For more info, please visit the official website.

Written By

Chris is a graduate of Communications from Simon Fraser University and resides in Victoria, British Columbia. Given a pint, he will talk for days about action films, video games, and the works of John Carpenter.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook

Trending

Michael Jackson’s Thriller Michael Jackson’s Thriller

The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the Best Music Video Ever Made

TV

BEST AEW PPV Matches 2022 BEST AEW PPV Matches 2022

Best AEW PPV Matches of 2022

Wrestling

Godzilla vs. Gigan Rex Godzilla vs. Gigan Rex

Godzilla vs. Gigan Rex Review: One of Godzilla’s Finest Recent Outings

Culture

Lost Bullet 2 Lost Bullet 2

Lost Bullet 2 Delivers The Finest of Vehicular Mayhem

Film

Greatest Film Noir Movies Greatest Film Noir Movies

Noirvember: 50 Greatest Film Noir Movies Part 1

Culture

Long-Awaited 5-25-77 is a Coming-of-Age Triumph 

Film

Noirvember: 50 Greatest Film Noir Movies Part 2 Noirvember: 50 Greatest Film Noir Movies Part 2

Noirvember: 50 Greatest Film Noir Movies Part 2

Culture

Blockbuster, photo via Netflix Blockbuster, photo via Netflix

Blockbuster: Netflix’s Latest Workplace Comedy Misses the Mark

Culture

Streaming services Streaming services

Streaming Wars and Streaming Headaches

Culture

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio movie review Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio movie review

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio Breathes New Life into the Classic Fable

Culture

Prince Namor The Submariner Prince Namor The Submariner

Who is Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner in Wakanda Forever?

Culture

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) review Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022) review

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is a Flawed but Worthy Follow-Up

Film

A Dickensian Disaster: Spirited is a Practically Unwatchable Take on A Christmas Carol

Film

Philadelphia Film Festival Philadelphia Film Festival

2022 Philadelphia Film Festival Feature Roundup

Film

Montreal Screwjob Montreal Screwjob

25 Years of the Montreal Screwjob, the Moment that Changed Everything in Wrestling 

Culture

Black Panther Black Panther

Recasting the Deceased: T’Challa, Dumbledore, and the Worst Hollywood Problem

Culture

Connect